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Old February 9, 2013, 11:05 AM   #1
Join Date: December 9, 2011
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Lead fouling

Since I don't have the supplies to shoot right now I've been spending the time giving my revolvers an inside/out cleaning. Working on the '51 R-M Conversion in 38 Spl. I found I had a severe lead fouling problem that I had not noticed. Usually I clean with hot soapy water and patches ending with patches soaked in Bore Butter, but this time I ran a wire brush down the barrel and pulled out strips of lead, several over 4 inches long. Pre-cleaning inspection had shown a nice shinny barrel with lands visible.

I'm reloading with 21 gr. BP, a fiber card, topped with a .357 dia. RNFP. I've experienced leading around the forcing cones and maybe the first inch or so of barrel before, but never the whole length of a barrel.

Any ideas as to problem and solution?
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Old February 9, 2013, 01:10 PM   #2
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Maybe your bullets are too soft, or need better/more lube?
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Old February 9, 2013, 01:19 PM   #3
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was that revolver originally C&B converted to .38? If so, I would expect the barrel is oversized .380 bore vs. the .357 which is normal bore size for .38 Special.
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Old February 9, 2013, 03:11 PM   #4
Doc Hoy
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Lead fowling in the first portion of the barrel is skidding. And also IIUC, that is bullet too small.

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Old February 9, 2013, 03:16 PM   #5
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Bore fit.

Slug your bore using a dead soft fishing weight or slightly OVERSIZED bullet. Measure it and use bullets that are .001 or .002 OVER this measurement.

If you are ordering your bullets pre lubed, see if they have lube specific for BP. Otherwise, you may want to order them without lube and do it yourself using proven homemade lubes.

Back off if you are using hot loads. With BP in a handgun I don't believe this is the problem.
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Old February 9, 2013, 05:54 PM   #6
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what kind of bullet are you using? if your barrel is still factory mint percussion, your going to have skidding bullets unless you try a hollowbase bullet or go with heeled bullets.

however the biggest issue you have is your cleaning regimine. your bore butter doesnt do squat on lead fouling. Id suggest a product designed for lead and copper fouling. hoppes no 9 is what i use on a barrel.
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Old February 9, 2013, 06:11 PM   #7
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Unddersized bullets in a .38 Special conversion aren't uncommon. Your solution is either heel based bullets (think about a .22LR and the way it's designed) or you can use soft leaf bullets with a hollow base. I have 3 Remington Navy conversions and this was my solution and it works pretty well. The hollow base acts like a minie-ball expanding when it's fired so the bullet fills the bore.
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